The April Monthly Service of Tenrikyo Church Headquarters was performed on the 26th in the Main Sanctuary, with Successor-Designate Daisuke Nakayama serving as chief officiant on behalf of the Shinbashira.
In the Service prayer, Rev. Nakayama first expressed gratitude to God the Parent for creating us human beings and the world out of the desire to see our Joyous Life and share in our joy as well as for having been watching over and nurturing us constantly day and night for a long period of time by providing us with the complete providence including fire, water, and wind. With reference to Tenrikyo Hinokishin Day, which was to be observed on April 29, Rev. Nakayama expressed his hope that as many Yoboku and followers as possible would participate and engage in hinokishin so that this event would befit the first year of the “three years, one thousand days” period leading up to the 140th Anniversary of Oyasama. Continuing, he said: “All of us including church head ministers and other Yoboku will express our sense of gratitude in our attitude every day while relying on Oyasama’s Divine Model. All of us, young and old, are determined to spiritedly and vigorously make progress along the path of single-hearted salvation.”
The prayer was followed by the joyous performance of the Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements. After the Service performance, Honbu-in Michiro Yamamoto took the podium to deliver the sermon.
In his sermon, Rev. Yamamoto shared his thoughts on some of the instructions that our predecessors had received from Oyasama—instructions related to the work of single-hearted salvation that we are currently engaging in with our sights set on the Divine Model in anticipation of the 140th Anniversary of Oyasama. Speaking about how Oyasama bestowed the truth of the Sazuke in 1874 on four followers who were serving at the Residence, Rev. Yamamoto referred to the instructions that Oyasama gave them in the form of a counting song as follows: “Fifth, be careful in your everyday speech. Sixth, never use cruel words. Seventh, help one another in everything. Eighth, maintain strict discipline at the Residence. Ninth, remain here for ever and ever. Tenth, strive in ways that will bring peace.” He then elaborated on these verses one by one. Noting how Oyasama instructed the followers by saying, “Fifth, be careful in your everyday speech,” and so on, after granting the Sazuke to them, Rev. Yamamoto said, “I realize that these words were not only meant to instruct the people who served at the Residence in the proper ways of using their minds but also provide important insights for us followers at the present time, many of whom have also received the truth of the Sazuke.”
Toward the end of his sermon, Rev. Yamamoto noted that the current season is a time in which we are to follow the path together with our sights set on the Divine Model in anticipation of the 140th Anniversary of Oyasama. He concluded his sermon by saying, “Let us ponder over each of Oyasama’s instructions as we continue to engage in the work of single-hearted salvation and the pre-anniversary activities in high spirits.”